Attention rural churches! Now is the time to tell us how you have been witnessing God’s love and mercy! How have you served your community? What have you done to make a difference in the lives of your neighbors? Where has the Holy Spirit led you in your faith journey? Who has seen Jesus through your ministry?
The Rural Church Fund (Key Taylor Award) was created in 1958 as a permanent endowment fund with the United Methodist Foundation, Inc. as trustee. The idea for the Fund came from the Rev. Key W. Taylor and the Commission on Town and Country of the Conference Board of Missions, and the purpose was established “to provide a permanent source of funding to benefit rural churches of the North Carolina Conference.”
The Rev. Key W. Taylor devoted his entire ministry to rural churches of the NC Conference. Not only as the initiator, but also as a generous donor, he strongly supported the Fund in its infancy. Through his will, he left a bequest to benefit the Fund.
Today we honor Reverend Taylor’s passion for ministry and mission in the Rural Church, serving Jesus, making disciples, and loving God’s people.
Rural church nominations for consideration of the Key Taylor Award are due by June 7, 2021.
Congregations can nominate themselves.
This year, $1762.00 will be awarded from The Rural Church Endowment. The award, sponsored through the United Methodist Foundation, is to call attention to the mission work of all rural churches by honoring the specific achievements of one rural church. To nominate a church, respond via email in narrative form on one page to the criteria below by June 7, 2021 to Kathy Duncan (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the Office of Outreach Ministries.
Include the name of the church and district.
- The church is in a community of less than 1,500 people, or RUCA eligible (see below).
- The church has 250 members or less.
- The church is significantly involved in community mission.
- The church shows faithfulness in its stewardship of the mission and service commitments (apportionments) and supports Advance Specials.
- The church displays commitment towards growth in ministry and perseverance toward accomplishing their vision of ministry.
How is a church’s eligibility status determined?
In his Indenture of Trust, Mr. Duke stated that eligibility for rural church funding to churches in North Carolina was to be based on the population of the community in which the church is located according to the latest federal census.
Therefore, after data from each federal census is collected, the eligibility of all United Methodist churches in North Carolina is re-examined, and a new list of eligible churches in the state is published. Eligibility status is determined using one of our two approved definitions of rural.
Mr. Duke defined “rural” as a town or community with a population of 1,500 or less. Churches in towns or communities with a population of 1,500 or less according to the latest federal census continue to be eligible to apply for grant funding in our priority areas, which are listed at the bottom of the Apply For a Rural Church Grant page under “Areas of Work and Funding Priorities.”
The Trustees of The Duke Endowment have approved an expanded definition to include churches in areas designated rural by the Rural-Urban Commuting Area (RUCA) code. RUCA codes were developed by the United States Department of Agriculture and are based on the commuting patterns of residents in individual census tracts.
See the eligibility list, which is based on the 2010 Census.